Bariatric surgery is a tool that can help people lose weight and improve their quality of life, but it is not a magic cure for obesity, which is a chronic disease and not easily treated. If you have gained weight after your weight loss surgery, it can be frustrating, but you are not alone. About half of patients who have bariatric surgery experience weight gain about two years after the procedure. Thankfully, you have options, and you might be a candidate for bariatric revision surgery.
What is Bariatric Revision Surgery
Revisional bariatric surgery is used to correct one of the many types of weight loss surgery procedures when it has failed due to inadequate weight loss or gain. Revising a bariatric procedure refers to returning to the operating room for any number of reasons, from bleeding or infection to bowel obstruction, to resolving issues that were not apparent on first surgery.
The most common reason for revising a bariatric procedure is to revise the original operation to make it better. It could include switching to a different operation (e.g., converting laparoscopic gastric bypass into open) or performing an existing procedure in a different way (e.g., doubling the size of a laparoscopic band). Another bariatric procedure is what’s called conversion, in which an adjustable gastric band (lap-band) system is changed into a sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS).
It’s important to understand that revision of any kind is an option late in the process. Anyone considering bariatric surgery should have realistic expectations about the degree of effort required to reach their weight loss goal. That way, should you decide that revisional surgery is not your best option, there will be no regrets.
Why May Someone Need to Consider Bariatric Revision Surgery?
Revision surgery can be required for a number of reasons, but more often than not, revision surgery is necessary because it has become apparent that previous methods are ineffective at helping patients reach their weight loss goals. Someone may consider bariatric revision surgery if they have experienced:
- Life changes – weight gain a few years after bariatric surgery is often the result of personal changes including increased stress levels and changing circumstances
- Anatomy changes – some patients gain weight for anatomical reasons, for instance, if your stomach has stretched out allowing you to eat more than you did right after your surgery; this is normal and expected to happen over time
- Health concerns – other factors include health concerns that result from a previous surgery such as bleeding, malnutrition, GERD, bowel obstruction, the onset of diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea or other conditions
When Revision Surgery is Called For, What Are the Options?
Whether you aren’t seeing the results you want, or you’ve developed a new health condition, revision surgery has many options that will work for your lifestyle and individual needs.
- Gastric band revision – gastric bands are easily reversible and can also be converted to gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or SIPS
- Gastric bypass revision – this is usually a corrective procedure as opposed to a reversal or conversion
- Gastric sleeve revision – when a revision is made, the stomach is re-sleeved (re-shaped), converted to a duodenal switch, or converted to a gastric bypass due to weight gain or severe GERD
- SIPS revision – this procedure is usually corrective as opposed to a conversion or reversal
The bariatric surgeons at Advanced Laparoscopic Associates (ALA) of New Jersey are the experts when it comes to bariatric revision surgeries. For additional information or to attend our free educational seminar contact us or call us at 201-646-1121 today.